Earring backs deserve our respect and attention. They aren’t really a consideration when we find a piece of jewelry that catches our eye, but they’re what keep our cherished jewels on our ears.
Not all earring backs are created equal. They’re developed for different types of earrings and made from different materials. We’re going to clear up any confusion you have about earring backs. We’ll take a look at different types, including a new back that’s getting rave reviews.
Go to your jewelry box. You’ll want your earrings handy as you read through our list.
1. Clip Earrings
Clip earrings are a single piece held in place with a hinging mechanism. Earrings with a clip can be worn by anyone.
The only real drawback is the tension isn’t adjustable. They can pinch when new and loosen as with age.
2. Ball Back Earrings
Ball back designs were created for people who have cartilage piercings.
The ball end screws onto the post. Many of them have separate decorative elements.
3. Chrysmela Back Earrings
Chrysmela is a brand of locking earring back used for post earrings. Three ball bearings inside the earring back grip the post, locking itself into place. Pull back on the endplate to release the lock.
Because Chrysmela backs work with adjustable bearings, the steel earring backs can be used with an array of post sizes.
A French clip is a type of earring backing in which an open wire clip fits over a post and against the earlobe.
These earring backs can prevent the earring from bending downward at an unflattering angle.
5. French Wires
French hooks are also known as French hook earring backs. They’re usually paired as findings with dangle or drop earrings.
They’re curved, with a long wire that extends down behind the earlobe. The theory is leverage will hold them in place. An extra back can be used for security.
6. Jumbo Earring Backs
Jumbo backs are a type of friction earring back. They were designed to hold large or heavy earrings in place.
They’re usually too large for standard size posts. These are a good option for those who find using standard butterfly backs challenging.
7. Kidney Wires
Kidney wires are one of the most popular findings for earrings. They loop through piercings and hook shut, forming a closed loop.
Their popularity means they come in many sizes. They’re also made from every common color and metal available.
8. La Pousette Earring Backs
La pousette earring backs are a type of friction back.
These backs have a pair of small buttons which are squeezed inward to loosen the grip. They’ll work with any type of post but are hard to find.
9. Latch Back Earrings
Latch back earrings use a hinge and a wire that drops into a hole. The opening is smaller than the wire. This prevents it from slipping out. They’re used with dangle, drop, and hoop earrings.
Latch back earrings are also known as Omega backs. When the wire is secured properly, you’ll notice a distinct snap.
10. Lever Back Earrings
Lever back earrings work backwards from latch backs. After the wire is pushed through the piercing, a latch swings up on a hinge and locks the wire into place.
Lever backs are some of the most secure fasteners available. They work with hoops, dangle, and drop earrings.
11. Lox Backs
LOX backs are a more recently developed finding. After a woman lost a favorite earring, her engineer husband developed this solution.
The earring post slides through the white plastic section. It’s automatically secured. To remove the earring, squeeze the metal sides. The post will slide out.
The plastic is hypoallergenic and the only part of the back that makes contact with your ear lobe. It’s wide enough to secure heavy earrings.
LOX backs are a game changer. They can leave a soft scratch on metals like gold, but it’s barely noticeable.
12. Push Back Earrings
Friction back, push back, and post back are interchangeable terms. They slide onto the post and stay in place using friction. Many posts will have a notched ring near the end as extra security. Push backs are the most popular type of earring backs on the market. You’ll find them made out of every metal and in every color.
The two most common types are the bullet and the butterfly. Butterfly backs have metal ends that curl over, creating the look of wings. Bullet backs are longer. This gives them more surface area connecting to the post.
via i Mall
13. Saddleback Earrings
A saddleback clips into a shape that resembles the horn of a Western saddle. Saddlebacks have a minimalist look, which makes them a popular choice for hoop earrings.
The only problem with these earring backs is they loosen over time. A jeweler can tighten up the hinge for you.
via Oster & Blom
14. Screw Posts
Screw backs are another option for securing post earrings. The posts are threaded and the back screws on instead of pushing them.
Earrings using a screw back post can be tedious to get right when you’re in a hurry. They can be next to impossible to use if you suffer from arthritis or have problematic dexterity.
Materials for Earring Backs
Gold is a common metal that’s found on menu high end earrings. It’s a soft metal and that has its pros and cons.
On the plus side, it won’t damage gold studs. The drawback is that the friction widens the opening. This raises the risk of losing the post.
Choose silver earring backs with silver earring posts. Mixing metals can irritate your skin.
One disadvantage to using butterfly backs is a tendency to push them too close to the ear lobe. They can pinch and irritate sensitive skin.
Stainless steel and surgical steel are hypoallergenic and a good option if you have sensitive skin.
They’re sturdy and work well with push back earrings.
When wearing fish hook style earrings, it’s easy for the wire to work its way out of the earlobe.
At that point, you will likely lose the earring. Rubber backs are designed to secure fish hooks in place.
They’re also very popular with posts, but LOX backs are gaining favor for securing studs.
Plastic earring backs can come with a post. They allow people with allergies to wear earrings.